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Eagan neighbors ask for better safety on road after teen killed

13-year-old Patric Vitek was hit by a car on a stretch of road where neighbors previously voiced safety concerns.

EAGAN, Minn. — Just off Diffley Road in Eagan, a growing memorial of bouquets and signs honor 13-year-old Patric Vitek, who was killed biking to school Friday morning.

At Eagan's city council meeting Monday night, neighbors will be given the chance to air safety concerns about the road. Police will offer an update on the investigation into the crash that killed Vitek. And city officials will talk about safety solutions that have been explored in the past.

"We feared something like this would happen, but of course we always hoped it wouldn't," said Theresa Eisele, who has been critical of this stretch of road for years. 

Her daughter Kalani says she's been nearly hit several times while attending the three Eagan schools located right off Diffley.

"The people just don't look before they turn," Kalani Eisele said. "We would just all know it was very dangerous to walk to and from school, and so we'd be as careful as we could. And watching out for others too."

RELATED: Eagan student fatally struck on bicycle

The four-lane street, with a speed limit of 45, is a Dakota County road. Eisele says the county and city have failed to listen to complaints in the past. 

"We've asked in the past for a traffic light at those intersections. And it's been shot down by the city and the county," Theresa Eisele said.

Now a petition is circulating, asking for a marked crosswalk, lighted signage, and a lowered speed limit across from the elementary school and near the spot Vitek was killed.

"At the very very least, they could put an activated stop for any pedestrians that push a button and all traffic needs to stop for them to cross safely," Eisele said.

Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire acknowledged safety concerns have been raised in the past. He said the county is not in favor of putting another stop light on the road, and without a stop light, a crosswalk would not be safe on the county highway. Options such as a bridge or tunnel have been mentioned but may not be feasible, Maguire said.

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